Lead is a type of additive used in paint to make it dry quicker, resist moisture better, and improve durability. Lead chromate, lead oxide, and lead carbonate are the most common to be found.

So what’s the deal with lead paint? It is actually harmful to human health - even though it’s a natural metal. As from 1978, the US government banned the use of lead paint, but older homes might still have it and you should not skip the test! Here’s how to proceed!

“Good painting is like good cooking; it can be tasted, but not explained.” - Maurice de Vlaminck

How to Identify Lead Paint

If the house was built before 1978, chances are lead paint was used.
If the house was built before 1978, chances are lead paint was used. Source: WikiHow

The best indicator for a home that has lead paint is the year it was built. If it was before 1978 and the house hasn’t been renewed, chances are lead-based paint is still around. So, if the house you live in (or the one you’re interested in buying/renting) was built before 1978, you will need to ask the home seller/landlord about the presence of lead paint - they’re required by law to provide you with that information.

However, you can also test the home yourself to be really sure. Home buyers are allowed to have the house inspected before closing the deal, so there's your chance!

Lead Paint Test

Test your house for lead paint to make sure there's no risk of poisoning.
Test your house for lead paint to make sure there’s no risk of poisoning. Source: Sarah Joy

Lead-based paint can harm your health (and anyone that enters the house will be at risk), especially if you want to renew the house and will require sawing, sanding, or drilling the walls. For that reason, if you’re planning a home renovation and aren’t sure about the presence of lead paint, this is the perfect time to have it tested.

More than that, if the surfaces are peeling or cracking, that is another good reason to have the house tested too.

To have your home tested, you will definitely need to call a lead inspector! Even though there are ways to DIY a lead paint test, it is not recommended at all. Despite being the cheaper option, it is not safe and it is not always accurate. The professional option is what you want for this type of job.

Besides, a professional lead inspector will not only determine if your home has lead paint, but they can also indicate the risk assessment and hazard screen.

How Bad Is Lead Paint for You?

Lead poisoning is a serious issue.
Lead poisoning is a serious issue. Source: Bob Vila

When in good conditions and undisturbed, lead paint doesn’t carry much risk. However, when the surface is damaged, it starts being a problem. Children are more likely to suffer from lead poisoning and its consequences, including:

  • Brain damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Slow growth
  • Headaches

Other than that, both kids and grown-ups can suffer from these problems if exposed to lead paint for a long time:

  • Anemia
  • Fertility issues
  • Vision problems
  • Memory problems
  • Muscle and joint pain

How Do I Get Rid of Lead Paint in my House?

If tests come positive for lead paint in your home, there are some temporary measures you need to take until a professional comes and deals with the problem permanently. These are the measures:

  • Clean the house, especially the areas where children hang out more
  • Repaint damaged surfaces
  • Wash hands frequently, especially before eating and sleeping
  • Clean air ducts regularly
  • Use wet mops and rags to clean
  • Take off shoes before entering the house

Now, to resolve the problem of lead paint once and for all, you will need to hire a lead paint removal professional. They will then remove, encapsulate, and enclose it while being super careful with dust and paint chips along the process.

Have you tested your home for lead paint yet? Get a free quote for this service!

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